Extraordinary letter from a neighbour complaining that a couple abuse their cats
NEWS AND COMMENT-WIGSTON, LEICESTERSHIRE: Fay Massey and Brian Helliwell have six cats who are allowed to come and go as they please. They have a driveway where the cats sometimes sit around particularly during the hot weather recently because I guess the stone pavement is cooler than surrounding areas. Massey puts food and water out for them on the driveway. It all looks fairly normal for the UK.
But it’s far from normal for a neighbour who wrote an extraordinary letter to them which you can see below. The anonymous neighbour believes that Fay and Brian are abusing their cats. Fay is an animal lover. She is known for it in the area. They are baffled as to why the neighbour believes that there is an animal welfare issue.
The complainer says that cats should not be allowed to sit on a driveway because it’s too hard particularly as they look young. She (I have presumed that the neighbour is a woman) believes that the cats should be inside the home enjoying the comforts inside.
She also believes that one bowl of food and water isn’t sufficient for the number of cats. She has made that assessment because she has seen one bowl of food and water. But she’s made the presumption that they are the only bowls of food and water. Judging by the photographs on the Daily Mail website, there are many food bowls inside the home as well.
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Although, they are all plastic and they all contain dry cat food. Plastic bowls can cause feline acne as bacteria can proliferate on food trapped in grooves in the plastic made by teeth. If they are feeding their cats dry cat food only then that is an error in my view. Veterinarians would agree as well. But this is unknown by the complainer.
Remarkably, the neighbour also complained to “a number of animal charities”. It seems that she is looking for trouble. They apparently advised her to contact Massey and Halliwell which she has done in her letter. She also said that she is continuing to monitor the situation.
In response, Massey and Helliwell complained to the police because they felt that they were being harassed. But they’ve also reached out to the unnamed neighbour to invite them around to their home to see how they are looking after their cats.
It appears that the complainer has just moved to the area. Sadly, I think she has got things very wrong. There is an ongoing argument in society generally as to whether cats should be kept indoors all the time but for centuries, in the UK, domestic cats have been allowed to live inside and outside the home with access via a cat flap. That’s the norm although things are changing and there are now more full-time indoor cats than they were previously.
There is nothing on the face of it that is very wrong with the cat caregiving of Massey and Helliwell. They are probably good cat caregivers with reservations about the food bowls and number of cats. We don’t know the situation regarding road traffic.
In an interesting twist to the story, the complainer posted their letter about 10 doors down from Massey and Helliwell’s home. They could have put the letter through their letterbox but clearly wanted to remain anonymous. It would have been better if they had spoken to Massey and Helliwell directly to discuss the matter. It is rather cowardly to write a letter like this which really can’t achieve the complainer’s objective. All that it can achieve is aggravation and a neighbour dispute.
That neighbor is lucky it wasnt me the letter was sent,to make false allegations in the care of their cats is egregious and making the asinine assumption the cat owner doesnt have enough food or water is bollocks,my 3 fur nephews crash on my front porch every spring/summer/autumn and fall and once winter is here they go back to their owner’s house and I only have one dish of food and water for them but make sure they get their wet in the AM,maybe the cat owners should invite the busy body to their home so they can see for themselves how good the cats are being taken care and calling it animal abuse?!? Sheesh.